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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hoops scheduling update: Cincinnati joins the list

Another blank has been filled in on the Georgia men’s basketball team’s schedule for next season: Cincinnati will visit on Dec. 2, as part of the SEC-Big East challenge.

The matchup was announced Thursday along with the other 11 games. The challenge used to be just four teams, but it has expanded to 12 to accommodate every SEC team. (That still leaves out teams from the Big East, which at last check had expanded to 97 members. … Just kidding. For now.)

This will be the first-ever meeting between Georgia and Cincinnati in men's basketball.

According to UGA, the Bulldogs currently have contracts for two non-conference games – Mercer and Furman – along with the College Basketball Experience tournament. The latter is a 16-team event, with Georgia hosting one of the first-round pods against teams yet to be announced. The possible opponents for the CBE’s final two games, in Kansas City, include Notre Dame, Missouri and California.

Georgia is also committed to road games at Xavier and Colorado, return games for trips last year, as well as the annual Georgia Tech game, which will be in Athens this year.

Interestingly, the Los Angeles Times reported last month that Georgia and Southern California had scheduled a home-and-home, with the Bulldogs visiting LA first. But head coach Mark Fox said last week that there isn’t a signed contract for that game. (USC also said it couldn’t confirm the game yet.)

In any event, Fox said he’s still trying to arrange a challenging schedule, as he did last season. But with the losses of Trey (or Howard) Thompkins and Travis Leslie, Fox didn’t come out and say it, but not every game is specifically targeted with the NCAA tournament resume’ in mind. He did mention wanting the young team to “grow up on the job.”

As it is, with Colorado, the CBE Classic and Georgia Tech, that’s a minimum of four games against power-conference teams, plus Xavier, a perennial NCAA team.

Here’s the full SEC-Big East challenge schedule:

Thursday, Dec. 1
Georgetown at Alabama
Providence at South Carolina
St. John’s at Kentucky
Ole Miss at DePaul

Friday, Dec. 2
Auburn at Seton Hall
Florida at Syracuse
Cincinnati at Georgia
Vanderbilt at Louisville

Saturday, Dec. 3
Arkansas at Connecticut
West Virginia at Mississippi State
LSU at Rutgers
Pittsburgh at Tennessee

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